Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has risked the wrath of his own fans after claiming the Red Devils need to be more like their fierce rivals Liverpool next season.
The Old Trafford outfit have endured a difficult Premier League campaign, their first without Sir Alex Ferguson, and they are in a hugely disappointing seventh place.
The one bright spot has been their Champion League run, David Moyes' side are still in with a chance of beating reigning European Champions Bayern Munich after a first-leg draw on Tuesday.
But in the main, United have been overshadowed by their nemesis Liverpool, who currently top the Premier League. The Reds were well off the pace last season but Brendan Rodgers has led a stunning revival in this campaign.
Carrick admits that United may need to copy the Anfield outfit's success next year: "I wouldn't think for one second we can't be back up there challenging," he told The Sun
"Look at what changed for Liverpool from last year to this. An awful lot can change from season to season, so we are looking ahead thinking we can challenge again."
Moyes, who took over from Ferguson in the summer, has shouldered most of the criticism from angry fans and he even had to watch last weekend as an aeroplane above Old Trafford displayed an anti-Moyes banner.
However the 32-year-old midfielder says the players need to look at themselves: "With change [in manager] it was unpredictable how it would go to start with but we never expected to be in this position in the league at this stage. But as players we haven't played well enough and certain games have been quite damaging."
"There are certain times here through the years when we have had bad results and we have had two results on the spin and the roof caves in and everything is wrong.
"We have then gone on to achieve things but for that week it is disastrous, horrible. This year it has been over a longer period. It's horrible.
"You go home after a bad result and you suffer more than most because it is our responsibility if we have not performed and had the result.
"You take it to the next game. You constantly ask questions of yourself. You have to face the public on the school run or when you take the kids somewhere. It's not pleasant but, if you want to take good times, you have to be prepared for the bad times."
Carrick joined United in 2006 from West Ham United and has made over 300 appearances for the Red Devils.
In a period of great success, the 31-cap international has picked up five Premier League winners' medals and a Champions League medal.
United travel to Newcastle United today as they look to beat Tottenham Hotspur and Everton to a Europa League place.
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